Making the Correct Opening Moves in Backgammon

There are dozens of moves that can be made when you're making the opening move in backgammon. There are 15 possible combinations that can be made if you omit the doubles when rolling two dice. When a player makes the opening move, it is impossible to start the game off with double rolls. What you'll basically be working with are your checkers in the starting position and the opening roll combination (i.e. no doubles).

You might be astounded by the number of opening moves you can make if you do the math for all those numbers. Fortunately the players who have mastered backgammon have outlined the best moves for each dice combination. This simply means that you won't have to learn the correct opening moves in backgammon through laborious trial and error.

The best opening moves you can make so far in backgammon are the ones that allow you make a point. When you make a point on the backgammon board you own that point and make a hump for your opponent's checkers to jump over. Owning points on any of the two home boards when you make the opening move is a very powerful strategy in this game.

Such opening moves can be made in backgammon when you get a 5-3, 6-1, 4-2, and a 3-1. Doing an 8/3 13/7 for a roll of 5-3 in the opening is the recommended move. All experts agree that the correct opening move for 6-1 should be 8/7 13/7. 8/4 6/4 is the recommended opening move for 4-2. The 3-1 opening roll, the best one there ever is, requires a move of 8/5 6/5.

If you can't make points then your next best shot is to split backgammon checkers. This may leave at least two checkers open to attack but you can easily make a point in your next turn. Here are the opening moves for the so-called split plays.

The first one is for a 6-3 with a recommended opening move of 13/10 24/18. If you get a 6-2 then you should move 13/11 24/18. A 5-1 gets an opening move of 13/8 24/23. If you get a 4-1 the recommended move is 13/9 24/23. A roll of 2-1 should be moved as 13/11 24/23 in the opening.

A roll of 5-4 has a recommended opening move of 13/8 24/20. However, if you get 5-2 you should go for 13/8 24/22. 13/9 24/21 is the recommended move for a 4-3 opening. You should play 13/11 24/21 if you get a 3-2 opening.

The easiest opening moves so far are the two running plays in backgammon. The first one is for a 6-4 opening, which has a recommended opening move of 24/14 but has an alternative move as 24/18 13/9. A 6-5 opening roll gets 24/13. It may require some time to memorize all these but after some practice you'll remember each opening move in backgammon.